Watching buildings be demolished can be a spectacular sight, but it can also be a dangerous one. This is true whether you’re an uninvolved spectator, part of the demolition team, or one of the property owners who wants to see your old building come down to make way for your new structure. If you’re a part of the demolition team you must make certain you’ve followed proper safety procedure, but even if you’re just watching, you need to be aware of your surroundings and what’s going on. Here are a few demolition safety tips to follow to make certain you aren’t harmed.
Pay Attention to Signs
Many people today simply don’t pay attention to signs even when they’re quite large and done in a bright colour. If you’re near a demolition site, take extra precaution to read every posted notice, even if you plan on simply walking past the area. Also be sure to listen for any verbal warnings. While you’re not likely to wander into a demolition area, you don’t want to chance being hit by debris.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Those watching the demolition will be placed at a safe distance, but any time explosives are involved, there is a danger of something going wrong. Buildings are imploded under strictly-controlled situations by experts with years of training, but factors such as the weather can be unpredictable and uncontrollable. A sudden gust of wind could blow dust and debris towards the crowd, so it’s always best to be prepared. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and closed-toe shoes, and consider bringing a handkerchief to cover your face in the event of an unforeseen circumstance.
Consider Ear Plugs
Remember that the explosives that bring down the structure will be quite loud, so if you’re sensitive to loud noises, consider wearing a pair of ear plugs. Professionals in demolition services always wear protection to avoid damaging their eardrums, and even though you may not be around explosives on a regular basis like they are, it’s still a good idea to be safe.
This is absolutely vital when near any demolition site. If you hear someone speaking through a speaker or yelling towards the crowd, listen and follow all directions. These professionals know when the crowd is too close or when something may not be going according to plan. Some people assume they’re trying to prevent people from watching the destruction, but that’s not always true. They simply want the structure to come down as safely as possible. Trying to sneak around them to get a closer view may result in getting hurt. Being too close can also result in getting dust and debris in your eyes or being hit by something.
Don’t Pick Up a Souvenir
Following the demolition, you might decide you want to pick up a chunk of brick or another piece of the destroyed building. However, any debris you see lying around, assuming you’re allowed to get close enough to any of it to touch it, could still be very hot from the explosion. It may also have jagged edges that could cut your hand if you try to pick it up. Leave the area to the professionals to clean up, and if you want something to remember the demolition by, take a video or pictures.